Background: Yoga is a popular adjunct therapy for eating disorders (EDs). A systematic review and synthesis of the yoga literature is needed to guide treatment recommendations and future research. This article provides a review of studies that used yoga for preventing and treating EDs. Method: Databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles about yoga practice and ED symptoms and correlates. Results: Of the 14 articles reviewed, 40% used cross-sectional designs to examine risk and protective factors for EDs among yoga practitioners, and 60% used longitudinal designs to assess the effectiveness of yoga interventions for preventing and treating EDs. Yoga practitioners were reported to be at decreased risk for EDs, and ED risk and symptoms were reduced or unchanged after yoga interventions. Conclusions: Well-controlled studies are needed to understand whether the positive effects of yoga on ED symptoms and correlates are related to the type of yoga practiced, the amount/frequency of practice, and/or other variables.

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